The Florida House stripped the Senate’s gambling bill and passed its own Wednesday, signaling the two chambers will likely have to negotiate a compromise during the session’s final weeks.
The Senate bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bill Galvano, said “timing is not yet determined” for negotiations. But if they can reach an agreement, the state stands to gain at least $2 billion in additional money from the Seminole Tribe over the next seven years by renegotiating a deal reached in 2010. The state is seeking a guaranteed $3 billion from the tribe for the time frame, about $1 billion of which it would receive regardless, according to revenue forecasts from the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
This is the second consecutive session that lawmakers have tried to reconcile views on gambling to approve a deal that would hold up in federal court. Conservatives, who dominate the Florida House, want to restrict gambling, while the moderates, who dominate the Florida Senate, want to expand it.
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